Effect of age and storage conditions on the volatile organic compound profile of blood

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, 2014, 10 (4), pp. 570 - 582
Issue Date:
2014-01-01
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© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Cadaver-detection dogs are used by the police to locate missing persons, victims of homicide, and human remains following mass disasters. Training is conducted using a variety of training aids including blood which can be hours, weeks or months old and stored under variable conditions. The aim of this study was to chemically profile human blood using solid-phase microextraction coupled with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry to determine how the volatile organic compound (VOC) profile changed over time and under variable storage conditions. The VOC profiles of fresh and degraded blood were analyzed as well as blood stored at room temperature, refrigerated, and frozen. Fresh and degraded blood samples produced distinctive VOC patterns with VOC profiles becoming more complex over time. Freezing the blood produced a complex VOC profile that was clearly discriminated from the VOC profile for blood stored at room temperature or in a refrigerator. This study highlights the importance of standardizing the age and storage conditions when using blood as a training aid to ensure cadaver-detection dogs are exposed to an accurate representation of the blood VOCs they may encounter at a scene.
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